Regulator fines estate agents for price-fixing cartel

Published on Monday, 18 September 2017.

Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has imposed a six-figure fine on five estate agents for secretly agreeing to set minimum commission rates.

The CMA found that a group of Somerset estate agents had agreed to fix the minimum prices of their commission rates for the sale of residential properties. This meant that local home owners were denied the opportunity of getting the best possible deal when selling their property.

Price-fixing cartels are amongst the most serious kinds of anti-competitive arrangement. In many ways, they are a form of stealing from customers – forcing up prices and reducing quality and choice.

By publishing its findings in this recent investigation, together with a short case study, the CMA reveals today exactly what the agents involved did, and is also reminding others to comply with competition law and avoid being fined.